Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 30 November, 2006
Written Answers. - Job Losses.
Mr. English Mr. English
Mr. English asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the measures that have been taken or are proposed to support the furniture industry in Navan, County Meath which is continuously underpinned and is experiencing ongoing job losses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40956/06]
Mr. Martin Mr. Martin
Mr. Martin: The furniture industry both in Navan and the country as a whole continues to face increased costs of production as well as competition from low cost economies. For some time now, the industry has been outsourcing part of its production in order to reduce costs and maintain competitiveness and this has had an adverse effect on employment.
 Enterprise Ireland continues to assist the furniture sector by encouraging investment in innovation so that companies can increase home market share and develop export markets. The principal areas of support are aimed at research, development and design to increase the level and pace of new product development; strategic, operational & management development to improve competitiveness; and, increasing the level of investment in export marketing activity.
The sector is also supported by a Standards Based Apprenticeship System which is operated by the Industrial Training agency, FÁS. In this regard, an in-depth review, which took account of the needs of all the stakeholders, is being completed.
There is general buoyancy in overall employment in Co. Meath as evidenced by the most recent Live Register figures released by the Central Statistics Office. These show that for October 2006, the Live Register figure for the County is 2,853 which is down on the October 2005 figure of 2,937.
Dáil Éireann 628 Written Answers. Job Losses.